The Grist - December 2023

December 7, 2023

A Season of Good Cheer

We have much to celebrate this holiday season. Our lively, engaged and creative community has grown significantly over the past year. Through the arts, we have been able to bring people together to explore new ideas, share perspectives, and experience joy and human connection, in a time when many need it the most.

We are grateful to our volunteers and members, artists and supporters, for upholding the mission and long-standing tradition of Phillips’ Mill to promote the arts in Bucks County, and to preserve our beloved historic mill. We welcomed many new members this past year and hosted several packed member events.

As a volunteer-led organization fueled by the passions and energies of an active Board and an engaged membership, we have much to be thankful for as the year comes to an end.

We wish you and yours warm wishes this holiday season, and look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Laura Womack

Give the Gift of Membership

If you are looking for a truly unique and meaningful gift, consider a membership to Phillips’ Mill. Not only are you supporting a local nonprofit, but you are also sharing something very special with a friend.


Promises to Keep: A Yuletide Ceremony

Thursday, December 21, 7 pm

We’re reviving the Victorian tradition of telling ghost stories during the winter holidays! So take a break from the hectic holidays and ward off the chaos of the holiday season with some warm cider, short stories read by a troupe of actors and a playful candlelight vigil.

Appropriate for adults and children under parental discretion. $10 for adults. Children are free.

Don't Miss This Deadline!

Submissions Due on January 15 for the Second Annual Play with Words Student Playwriting Challenge

Help a student, grades 7 to 12, find their unique voice as a writer. This competition is an excellent opportunity for aspiring writers to gain confidence and improve their skills.

  • Each submission will be critiqued by a published writer.
  • Winning plays are read on the stage of the Mill.
  • Winners receive a $100 cash prize.
  • Entries are free.

Submission requirements: 12-page play of 10 minutes or lessStudents must attend school within in a 25-mile radius of Phillips’ Mill

The Great Lighting and Sound Upgrade Is On!
Be a Part of It. Help Us Meet Our Goals

We are in the middle of a historic campaign to upgrade the lighting and sound systems at the Phillips’ Mill theater. These infrastructure improvements will last many years and will further all Mill activities. The campaign is going well, but we still need your help to reach our goal of $40,000.

Now is the time to endow the Mill with the facilities that can be found in virtually all school and independent theaters in the area: LED stage lights (no heat, thousands of colors, and much lower power consumption), state-of-the-art light controls, quality microphones and sound equipment, sound evenly distributed throughout the auditorium and basement, and easy-to-use sound controls.

Phillips’ Mill Drama Hosts Playwright Competition Readings and Salon Monologues

More than 90 people attended the Sixth Annual Emerging Playwright Competition Readings on November 18, including all six winning playwrights: Domenick Scudera, Peter Langman, Julie Zaffarano, Jennifer O’Grady, Adam Richter and Patricia Lynn. Honorable mention winner Jane Lee joined us as well.

Join director Fran Young and drama committee chair Valerie Eastburn in thanking the cast for their amazing performances and the judges for their hard work.

Actors: Michael Weisser, Tim Wade, Tabitha Dell’Angelo, Cecily Laidman, Lily Freeman, Steve Sullivan, Nancy Vander Zwan, Steve Young, Rick Goodwin, Kevin Nalty, Matt Robertson and Griffan Arbogast

Judges: Judith Hallberg, Dr. Glenn Steinberg and Dr. Wilbert Turner

Phillips’ Mill Drama also hosted a new Salon last month. On November 19, eight actors performed monologues that ran the gamut of emotions but were riveting  “I’m always amazed at the talent we have in the local community,”  said host John McDonnell. “The audience was enthusiastic and there was a lively discussion about acting following the monologues.”

Youth Art

2024 Youth Art Exhibition Opens January 28

We are gearing up for the 2024 Youth Art Exhibition, which will open to the public on January 28 and run through February 18. The show will be both in person and online.

Within hours after sending out our invitation, we received enthusiastic responses from 10 of our stable of 22 high schools. We look forward to participation by all of them.

“It is our most favorite show!” exclaimed several of the teachers. “We always look forward to this show!”

We know this will be another excellent exhibition showcasing the creations of more than 100 young artists. Last year we added a new “digital art” category. For those of you new to the medium, it is eye-opening.

The Mill does not charge the schools and students a fee to enter, does not charge an admission fee to visitors, and does not take a commission on sales. It is our gift to the community.

We look forward to seeing you at the show.

ArtTalk - Conversations with Artists at Phillips' Mill - New Hope, Pa.

The team at ArtTalk is taking a much-deserved holiday break in December. We thank these talented volunteers for putting out quality programming month after month.

We look forward to continuing this popular series in January. Please save the dates or register early for these upcoming ArtTalks.

ArtTalk with David Leopold

Wednesday, January 17, 7 pm
Zoom Webinar

Join us in the new year for a fascinating conversation with David Leopold, creative director of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation and author of “The Hirschfeld Century: Portrait of an Artist and His Age,” which was published to coincide with a major retrospective that Leopold curated for the New York Historical Society.

Leopold has organized exhibitions for institutions around the country, including the Library of Congress, the Field Museum in Chicago, the James A. Michener Art Museum, and the New York Public Library.

Leopold became interested in the artwork of Hirschfeld when, more than 30 years ago, he was researching Ben Solowey’s “Theatre Portraits,” drawings from the lives of performers on Broadway and in opera, film and dance. He discovered that the drawings frequently ran side by side with Al Hirschfeld’s legendary theatre work. He reached out to the artist for more information and soon became his archivist, visiting Hirschfeld at least once a week in his studio for 13 years.


ArtTalk with Lisa Naples

Wednesday, February 21, 7 pm

Visual Arts

2024 Mill Members Art Show & Sale
A New Mill Exhibition

Two Weekends | March 16-17 & March 23-24

Check our website for details and the prospectus in the next few weeks, We invite all interested members to join our committee. Contact Shawn Campbell at


We Welcome Our New Members

This past quarter, we welcomed dozens of new members to our community. “You have joined an exciting, diverse and talented group of artists, actors, photographers, admirers and patrons of the arts in Bucks County,” says Stephanie O’Connor, Chair of our Membership Committee. “From our humble yet rich beginnings we have been supporting the arts since the first exhibition in 1929.”

Contact Stephanie with any questions or comments about membership:

Perry Barry, Anne Boyer, Shawn Campbell, Pam Can, Annika Crawford, Barbara DiLorenzo, Linda and Michael DiMario, Fran Ferrone, Donna Foran, Janette T. Gonzalez, Betz and Jim Green, Lucinda Hadden-Furst, Lisa Hanson, Lisa Harrison, Rosemarie Helm, Sunny Howard, Shirley Kessler and Bill Jersey, Deborah Jones, Jennifer Chase and Paul Keller, Mike Kuyper, Dorine Lerner, Lisa Lettero, Haydee Mendez, Margie Milne, Kate Budlong and Dirk Odhner, Michael Palladino, Virgina Perry, Jacqueline Rocci, Janet Rockware, Aina Roman, Donna Rose, Jenny Schaeffer, Laurie and William Shutt, Rus Smith, Aurelle P. Sprout, Michele and Peter Thomas, John Tracey, Edythe and Stephen Victor, Katie and Michael Warden, Stephanie and P. Michael Weisser, Ellie Wyeth

Why Join the Mill?

Members enjoy access not only to our exhibitions and educational programming but also to our members-only receptions and social events. Learn more about member benefits.

A Special Thank You to Our Generous Supporters

There are many ways to support our organization. Get involved as a volunteer. Join a committee. Attend a workshop. Enjoy our social gatherings. Take in some theater. Submit your artwork to a show. Make a donation, of any size. This is what Phillips’ Mill is all about—our community.

As the year comes to an end, we would like to thank all of our supporters.

“A true artist is not one who is inspired but one who inspires others.”

― Salvador Dalí

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Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus